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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #2181
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date:
    11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Regardless, I am in need of your help for a while. I have a first-aid kit, but my bag must have flown somewhere else. Can I ask you to look for it, please? For that matter, can you perform first aid? When you find the bag, be mindful of the bottle. It does not contain water. And you can take the leather notebook if so wish. It is yours in the first place, right?”
    "... Eh?"

    Mercedes blinked owlishly at John fro amidst her tears, watching as the boy pushes himself into a sitting position. It seems that his words take a while to register in her brain, as does the fact that he isn't dead yet... just on the death's door if nothing's done. Indeed, it must have been that the shock and the trauma of today has broken her mind to the point that she has hard time even acknowledging someone else's words, let alone work as someone else (not to speak of herself) instructs.

    But just as it starts to look like she is simply going to sit there, dumbfounded...

    SLAP!

    Mercedes West uses both of her hands to smack herself in the face, using sheer physical force to snap herself out of her stupor. And while her cheeks are red, and while her eyes are still full of tears, when she looked at John after this maneuver, there was once again focus in her stare. Once again she had found some sort of heading in her mind, and if something had broken in there, well... it could be talked about later.

    Instead...

    "A-alright, bag, first aid kit, got it... though, like... what the hell are you even doing with my notebo---" Mercedes shook her head as she jumped up from the ground. "Gawd, not the time for this. I mean, I suck at first and, like, don't know much about it but I can give it a try and...?"

    It was at that moment that Mercedes West realized the color of the sky too. Her jaw dropped as she stared up towards the clouds which were awash with waves of technicolor spectacle, travelling outwards like ripples from a point that seemed to be deeper, deeper into the forest. A silent curse came out of Mercedes's mouth when she saw it... almost as if she had half-an-idea what it could be. But whatever it was, it seemed to affect nothing else but the clouds now, so why was she so transfixed upon the sight?

    "... It's... not supposed to look beautiful..." Mercedes murmured to herself.

    Then, as if remembering again what she was supposed to do, the girl sprinted back to the road, her eyes scanning the area for any sign of John's missing belongings. The car nearby was still rumbling, it's engine on. That sight was definitely the clearest sign of hope today... a way to get out of this horrible town and the events that had transpired there. Just take the road and drive, drive without looking back, on the same road that all of them had taken to arrive here earlier this week.

    ... How could have things changed so much in a single week?

    Still, how long was it going to take Mercedes to find that bag? Judging by the sounds, she was running and walk all over the place without much success when it came to locating the first aid kit. And while she had been muttering encouraging words to herself for a while, now she had gone all silent. Only the sound of her shoes upon the asphalt road could be heard. They were hasty and they were panicked, but she still held herself together, until...

    Until...

    --- Her footfalls came to a stop.

    "John..."

    Mercedes said, her voice betraying a mote of horror in it.

    Then, kneeling down momentarily, she squatted down on the other side of the road from where John had flown and... lifted something up.

    Something familiar.

    Or rather... the ragged, tattered and broken remains of what had once been a first-aid kit.

    One that was completely useless now.

  2. #2182
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Road's End - Outside End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Do not mistake effect for a cause. I did not break anyone. I do not induce madness in anyone. I do not corrupt anyone. I do not make anyone go insane."
    Anna let out a contemptuous snort. It was clear that while the blonde woman’s strength might be worthy of respect to some, the raven-haired witch's actual estimation of her character was rather poor.

    “By your own words, you purposefully engineered this very situation by your actions, yet I’m supposed to consider you blameless?”

    “Fuck off, you old preening hag. You clearly have an individual will of your own, so instead of patronizing everyone and calling them children, you can act the goddamn adult you half-assedly pretend to be and acknowledge that this occurred due to your own shitty meddling.”

    "I am that insanity."
    Unfortunately, this was all Anna could manage to say before she was barreled into by a mass of writhing teeth and flesh, accompanied by a veritable shockwave of Odic Energy. Yet more bloody espers, of course. Dime a dozen these days around these parts, it seemed. Even as the beast’s fangs were biting into her flesh and pinning her down, Anna could feel her touch on her mind, flooding it with undeniable, supernatural, fear.

    The beast was twirling her around like a ragdoll, clearly aiming to bisect her with his teeth and end her life then and there. Another bout of nausea threatened to take over her senses, an echo of the scenery she had been forced to endure just moments ago.

    Some type of mental interference was at play. Though whether the beast was a physical manifestation of instinctual fear or just a mental delusion was irrelevant. Both circumstances would end up killing her anyway. She was on her last legs, brought to the brink of exhaustion by her previous fight in the hospital, where she barely scraped out with her life intact, only to be brought here to face off against this warped image of a woman. By all intents and purposes, any human with reason and sense would have already given up... and yet...

    And yet the rage burning in her chest refused to die out. Or perhaps it was more accurate to say that it couldn’t. It was as inalienable part of her as taking another breath.

    So the answer was simple.

    Anna’s eyes hardened with a cold calculating gaze as she took in the figure of Gabriela in the distance. Her body yanked around by the beast, the witch simply extended her arm towards the blonde-haired figure in the distance and clenched her fingers into a fist.

    Instantly, the air shimmered with physical force of mana and the familiar sharp scent of ozone.


    The figure of Gabriela Bahkauv suddenly lit up like a torch, her entire form wreathed in a blazing corona of flames that reached up to the very treetops, even as the ground beneath her feet was pulverized by streaks of metal that cleaved through the land like knives through hot butter.
    Last edited by Mellon; Yesterday at 05:59 PM.

  3. #2183
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel (Round 2, Turn 3)
    Location: Road's End - Outside End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Hmm? Fire and metal? What an interesting combination..."

    The inferno wreaked havoc across the forest, swallowing up the blonde woman whole. At the same time streas of liquid metal assaulted her, trying to cut her apart with the sheer intensity and sharpness they possessed. It was a veritable maelstrom of destruction, one conjured even in the middle of being thrown around by the colossal monster, a thing of immense proportions that seemed to have no rhyme or reason to its physical existence. Before Anna's glare, Gabriela Bahkauv disappeared completely within the two spells, consumed by the hellfires and wrought steel.

    But, as intensely as it had began...

    "--- Reminds me of someone I knew long ago."

    ... It came to a halt.

    The infernal flames began to billow uncontrollably and spiral into something, a specific point near their target. At the same time, the metal streaks of destruction were twirled around and sucked into some sort of vortex, becoming almost like strings of mithril-like yarn that drew pictures into the flames that shared their fate. Before Anna's eyes, her two spells were drawn into the tip of the staff wielded by Gabriela Bahkauv, concentrated into a twisting, whirling ball of silver and red, and concentrated into a shape that was no bigger than a baseball. With a cold smile on her face, the existence of the blonde woman was visible again, revealing she was unfazed and not nearly as badly damaged as she should have been. Sure, there were cuts in her clothes and the whiteness of her wardrobe had been signed, but...

    --- Why was she still standing so strongly?

    "An interesting trick. Assuredly destructive. Just like your personality. To yourself and to others. But here..." Gabriela Bahkauv spoke and raised her right hand again. "... As worthless as everything else."

    Then, with a simple move, she extinguished the ball of fire and metal, squashing it against her open hand and clenching it into a fist. At the same time, her red eyes focused once more on the girl that was being trashed about by the colossal monster. For a cold second or two she calculated something and then, fixing her posture and folding her arms across her chest, she simply nodded upwards with her chin.

    "Get rid of her."



    "###########!"

    The beast screeched like a lunatic.

    For a moment the G-forces again pummeled Anna as the monster that had her in its grips spun its head around thrice, the fangs digging deeper into her.

    And then, just as it felt like it was about to bite down on her deeper...!

    --- Anna suddenly found herself airborne.

    Thrown upwards, straight into the treetops, the raven-haired girl found herself clearing the tree tops as she shot straight up, body spinning around uncontrollably and without giving her any chance of orienting herself. The sky and the trees and the ground switched places with an ever-rapid rate, and while she spun, a streak of blood from her wounds formed a trail like a comet as she ascended towards the grey skies.

    And then, at 15 meters, she reached her apex.

    And what followed was the inevitable.

    That is, a fall straight down back to to ground.

    And a painful reunion with the ground.

    --- With the huge beast towering over her, about to strike again!





    [Hit! Gabriela Bahkauv: 10 - 5 = 5 Fire Damage (INT Defense)!]
    [Hit! Gabriela Bahkauv: 10 - 5 = 5 Metal Damage (INT Defense)!]

    [Hit! Anna Vandemeel: 14 - 1 = 13 Falling Damage (INT Defense)!]
    [Anna Vandemeel: Free from Restrained!]
    [Anna Vandemeel: Prone!]
    [Anna Vandemeel: Frightened for 1 Rounds!]
    [Anna Vandemeel: Entering Desperation Turns...]

    --> Round 2, Turn 4: Anna Vandemeel
    --> Round 3, Turn 5: Gabriela Bahkauv
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; Today at 11:26 AM.

  4. #2184
    Beauty Under the Moonlight Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: Road's End – Streets
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast



    …well, it is how it is.

    It is only in the madness called Pinefall where John’s tainted mind can be a boon rather than a burden. He is neither surprised nor bothered. Did She not say it before, that his death was already decided? Even if it no longer hurts, he understands that his body has reached the limit of his physiological function. Such are the rules of the hollow world, and he is powerless to break them.

    That does not mean he is just going to lie down and wait for the end, of course. That is not how John Dove works. Therefore, what is the next course of action? Really, by this point he can just do whatever he wants, right? Therein lies the question, though: what does John Dove want to do?

    Well, to begin with, there is the matter of Mercedes West.

    “Very well, then,” he says as he slowly pushes himself back on his two feet, ignoring jolting sparks of pain along the length of his bones that obviously are not really there because it doesn’t hurt. He promptly stumbles, body lurching forward along with a potent cough that fills his mouth with bitterness, but he manages to plant a firm foot ahead to remain standing. It is like a metaphor for life itself: it is very bitter, but you can only keep marching forward.

    “No point in crying over spilled beans, as they say,” he then adds in a voice so weak and flat even he can tell it carries no convincing power. Besides, who even says that, really?

    “As for the notebook,” John quickly continues in a purposefully stronger voice, the better to keep Mercedes’ mind busy and away from the fact he is literally dying on his feet in front of her. His hands reach for a handkerchief, at least to wipe off the blood and dirt from his external wounds. “Alexstrasza was interested in deciphering its contents, and I suspect she believed I could do so. She was right, but not for the reasons she had in mind.”

    It is easy to glimpse the fallen bag once he is standing, and John wastes no time in retrieving his sketchbook and Mercedes’ notebook out of it.

    “The text uses the Phoenician alphabet, but it disguises it by replacing it with the earlier Proto-Sinaitic script. Furthermore, it alternates between standard and reverse boustrophedon in the odd and even pages, respectively,” he explains while his hand idly waves the aforementioned notebook from side to side. “That is as far as I got, because the text is further concealed behind a Vigenčre cipher, which needs a key I presume only you could know.”

    After that brief (and perhaps by this point unnecessary) explanation, John leaves the leather-bound notebook to its rightful owner. He then sighs and turns his eyes to the abnormal sky that seems to cover the entirety of Road’s End and its surrounding areas.

    “I was thinking of asking you to take over for me and drive to the Sheriff’s, but…” He shakes his head. “If they are not acting after all this, I don’t think there is any point in looking for them. Not that they would be able to do much of anything by this point. This town has been swallowed whole by the Turnside.”

    With that, he looks at Mercedes West’s excellent vehicle. Its engine still running is probably a silver lining to the cavalcade of tragedies this girl must have witnessed in this day.

    “Miss West, please get back in that car and leave. Just, follow that road out of this town and do not look back. I believe that is the best thing you can do right now.”

    Of course, the matter remains as to whether the darkness in this town will just let her leave, but John cannot imagine he could do something about that. He does not have the power to protect anyone. As for himself, there is nowhere for him to go. Not anymore.

    “It would be a shame for the world to lose your talent and your intellect.”

    He turns her back to the girl after that most un-John-Dove-like sentence. Perhaps this is his very sad attempt at “lightening the mood”. Perhaps this is the closest to an acknowledgement of the fact that he did not talk to her during the past week because professional liars make him nervous. Perhaps he is just fooling around now that there is nothing left for him to do. Perhaps he just broke in a new and different way. Perhaps this is the usual, lying John Dove, who would rather leave this girl with something like a positive opinion of himself, and guesses her physical attractiveness already has been praised to hell and back.

    It does not matter anymore. His attention is already set on his next and final plan. His gaze in set on the distant ripples in the sky, and on their apparent point of origin.

    Curiosity has a part in it, but there is something else pushing him in that direction. Something a lot simpler and more selfish.

    “If I cannot see the real colors of the sky, I’d rather see no colors at all,” he murmurs. “This…spectacle…”

    It does not seem a conscious action, but his hands are not idle, shifting and moving the weird panoply of items he has collected today to make them easy and quick to reach. This whole time, his eyes never leave the unnatural sky.

    “…it annoys me.”


    [John Dove – End of Second Desperation Turn]

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